As usual I have come late to the party as Don’t Leave Me Behind seems to be the fourth release from a clutch of singles starting with his debut, Moving On back in August. But better late than never, yes? Well, yes indeed as this final offering is everything that is great about stumbling wide-eyed and wide-eared across a new artist. All too often you go in with high expectations and find a bunch of street kids with guitars still trying to be Oasis…who were just trying to be T-Rex anyway…or a folky-pop pixie girl with an acoustic guitar channeling Lily Allen. And why would you want to do that?
No, what is great about Jimmy Laine is that he takes the pop format and does something really interesting with it. It has familiarity and infectiousness, especially when it kicks up a gear and plays with electro-pop moves old and new but it also laces through shimmering indie textures, graceful synth washes and supple and subtle dance floor beats. But above all of that the two standout strands are the wonderful space that he allows to permeate the song and his brilliant voice which is both a form of direct, lyrical communication and is layered up into an instrument in its own right.
Late to the party but glad I was there to catch its brilliant last act. Now having found out where the party is hosted, at least I can be early for the next one.